Death Valley National Park Excursion October 2016
Death Valley National Park California
We live for the adventure. It’s no secret… And when we booked a wedding in Los Angeles California at the Richard Nixon Library & Museum, we knew we could plan a trip out of it. We quickly settled upon Death Valley National Park. Ok – we didn’t have to “settle,” it was obviously a huge goal for us to go see and experience. And so we did.
The beautiful Los Angeles wedding of Juli and Rob was really amazing. We met so many wonderful people and had the pleasure of venturing to Laguna Beach, Ronyon Canyon, Hollywood, and of course some unique Uber rides. Feel free to check out their wedding blog post on our wedding photography website.
After the wedding, plans were set and after picking up our rental car, everything was in motion! Having driven I-15 across the entire state of Utah and in the Las Vegas area, it was good to drive north from LA to the town of Baker before entering the park.
Death Valley is massive – and we only had 36 hours. It’s very easy to fall into the category that go and only see the popular 3 spots. Especially considering it can be 25-50 miles in between them. However, Joe and I had a plan. While we were losing light very fast upon our arrival, we would stop wherever we could and do a stretch run for sunset. The 103 degrees in super dry climate really only felt like 85 with humidity back home. We spent sunset running end to end on the Mesquite Flat Dunes. These beautiful sand dunes seem to stretch for miles. When approaching them, you’d think there was a massive sand storm going on, but there really wasn’t. After dark we traveled to Badwater basin. Although very popular during the day, its remote location makes it a nice remote spot for stargazing after dark. The night sky in Death Valley is absolutely amazing. Ok breath-taking. Or aw-inspiring? At this point, I should really stop trying to describe it because words simply CAN’T. When looking up, its impossible to miss shooting stars. The milky way never seemed so clear and defined. So dark, that its bright.
The next morning we were up early and in-line with the tourists at Zabriskie Point for sunrise. Dante’s View was our second stop. It allowed for us to hike peak to peak across the skyline 5000 feet above the valley below. Eventually our grand plan for the day started. We rented a Jeep from Farabee’s and hit a few more hikes before crossing into the back country. Our big adventure was pretty wild. Off-roading was really amazing as we crossed from canyon to canyon before reaching Teakettle Junction. Our goal was the Racetrack and its Playa (a desert basin (or Dry lake) with no outlet which periodically fills with water to form a temporary lake). Although someone turfed a significant portion of the surface only weeks before our visit, we were able to find some great shots that were undamaged. Once again, we stayed late enough for sunset and eventually the night sky. Because of the elevation change, we were surprised by the heavy winds and how quickly it got cold. Driving back through back-country to drop off the Jeep in the middle of the night was an entirely different adventure onto itself!
A photo posted by Joe del Tufo (@joedeltufo) on
A photo posted by Moonloop Photography LLC (@moonloopphoto) on